TransGaming Interview @ Gamespy

October 22nd, 2001 by Crusader

Gamespy’s Jeff McBeth sent in word that they’veconducted an interviewwith Transgaming’s Gavriel State about theirrecently announced WineXrelease with Mandrake Linux. At one point, Gavriel addressesthe question of their impact on native ports:

I absolutely disagree. As you can see from the above, we ourselves are now also in the business of creating Linux optimized games which include Linux only features. For TransGaming, WineX is a tool that allows us to deliver licensed game far more quickly and efficiently then ever before. It also gives us the opportunity to provide Linux users with the ability to run games when a publisher is unwilling to license any Linux version of a game.

We’ve said it before, and I will say it again: we will not encourage our users to vote for games that other publishers have ported or are already porting.

One of the core strengths of the Linux community is diversity. We think that there is room in the market for a number of different approaches to the problem of bringing more games to the platform.

8 Responses to “TransGaming Interview @ Gamespy”

  1. subnet_rx Says:

    only time will tell.

  2. vardamir Says:

    I’m not sure that even TransGaming has any idea how much potential cross platform DirectX has.
    Now that every major OS besides Windows is Unix based, including OS X and uses Xwindows (OS X can use
    XFree86 even though it doesn’t come with the OS by default),
    something like Wine can truly help to transform cross platform gaming in a number of ways. As John Carmack recently pointed out, there will be
    a convergence of API’s for gaming in the next 2 years or thereabouts. Wine/WineX could definitely help speed this effort up by maturing the code on UNIX platforms
    and making it available for porters, like Transgaming and Loki, and eventually companies who don’t specialize in porting will become familiar with these developments
    (once they reach a professional level). This means that porting games will become so easy that it will probably be increasingly common for it to be done in house,
    and at least distributed as an “unsupported” binary on CD or available for download, as ID software is now doing. Whether one’s preference is programming in DirectX
    or OpenGL will cease to matter, as both will be available on multiple platforms. For non-x86 platforms, for instance PPC, WineX could be ported without much trouble
    (although for actually running x86 games a true emulation layer would have to be added, and although this is very interesting and practical in many cases – such as
    running regualar applications or games on Mac OSX, Linux/PPC, or Linux/PPC64, it’s importance pales in comparison to what can acutally be done natively) and used to do
    ports of major games to these platforms. Let’s take Transgamings approach to porting the Sims to Linux/x86. To do the same on Mac OS X or Linux/PPC all that would have to be done
    is to have a native version of winelib present, and presto – you now have Sims for Linux/PPC and Mac OSX. This means a number of things. Easier porting from Windows to
    Mac OS X with little to no performance loss will also mean that more and more companies will port games to Linux – even for various architecutes.

    Also of note, it would be nice to see Transgaming and Codeweavers merge – they could really help each other out a lot.

  3. Hohlraum Says:

    This is not the answer. Game companies churn out games as fast as they can and if they can say something is linux compatible just because it runs like absolute horseshit through wine, you know they will do it. This will NOT help ports of linux games it will only hurt.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Hello? Let’s see if The Sims sucks under Linux before we judge it, kay? If the port is rock solid, then just enjoy it.


  5. Anonymous Says:

    This is actually very cool. I hope it gets ‘marketed’ right! Wine has let me play lots of titles that will never see a Linux port, and the WineX additions can only make things better.

    As regards WineX threatening ‘native’ ports, well, as everyone who is not blind/deaf/dumb knows by now, WineX is not targetting games with native ports on the horizon; more to the point, if WineX’s performance sucks as much as people (who haven’t tried it) claim, what is everyone worrying about? Hmm?

    (FWIW, performance I don’t have complaints with w.r.t. DirectX games under Wine[X])

  6. byte_bandit Says:

    am I the only one that dont like to emulate games?

  7. Jebus Says:

    Summary: Solid native software makes a platform desirable. WINE and its ilk act to deter the drive for native software on Linux.

    The TransGaming point of view is that they will bring games to Linux. Unfortunately, this doesn’t necessarily translate into bringing -permanent- users to Linux. Rather, people who use Windows already and have already bought games for Windows will want to simply pop their Windows game disc into the drive, and fire up WINE to install and play it on their “just for fun” Linux partition. This in no way convinces them that Linux is a better place to work and play. It just tells them that they don’t have to shut down their machine to play their favorite Windows game at that moment…they can play in whichever environment they happen to be in at the moment. And the developers still see developing for Windows as their best bet on home PCs, since they never even have to know that Linux users are playing…the WINE project exists to make sure that doesn’t happen, right? After all, their ultimate accomplishment would be to make Windows binaries run without a hitch under Linux.

    By making stronger and stronger the possibility that a Windows game will work out-of-the-box on Linux under WINE, it is not necessarily hurting porting work that is already contracted or underway: it actually acts to hinder the discussion and interest of native ports by a company like Loki. Software sells your platform; that’s why Office makes Windows a success. If you kill the drive for native software under Linux, then you block the easiest path to making it a respectable platform that users might choose over another, like Windows or MacOS. By deterring the discussion of doing a port in the first place, WINE hurts the chances that native software will ever be done at all.

    What is the WINE project hoping to accomplish? All the bugs and instability of Windows programs combined with the user friendliness of the Linux desktop? Yeah…that’s a winning combination.

    Stay on task: native software, better desktop, more hardware support. Faster. Easier. Better. Anything else is a distraction.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Guys, the ports *will* be native, just like the Sims port is a native Linux binary. Transgaming has a product/technology to more or less let them recompile Windows code on Linux – it simply provides an abstraction API. This makes DirectX no different than using a scene-graph API over OpenGL (sort of).

    In short, no, it’s not as good as a full port using OpenGL + SDL or whatever, because there is still abstraction.

    But, the publishers *are* noticing Linux, *are* having a “port” made to Linux versus just a Windows version, etc. They are simply short-cutting the recoding and using an abstraction *API*. They are making an effort for a Linux version – they could just say “Buy the Windows version and run it in WineX,” but instead they are making a version just for us. Be happy. ^,^ It’s a _start_, and we can’t expect to jump from nothing to “all the way.”

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